village of elephant hunters

Dak Lak Province – Our Favourite Region in Vietnam. Part 2. Buon Don, the village of elephant hunters

After the first day in Dak Lak province, having tamed the bike and visited the Gia Long waterfall, on the second day we took off to visit Buon Duon village, famous for its elephant hunters and unusual graveyard where the greatest hunters are being buried. We drove there by bike again and in the village had a ride on the elephant’s back.

Vietnam by bike.

Being still scared of the bike, we tried to visit the village with the help of the tourist guide. It turned out that the tour costs 120 dollars (for a one-day guiding). That is why we finally decided to bike there on our own; also, on Sunday the traffic was not so intensive and we felt a bit more experienced after the first day of ride. On the turn from the main street of Buon Ma Thuot we had breakfast, and it was heavenly delicious!
Buon Ma Thuot breakfast

Now it was time to depart.

The majority of the Vietnamese wear face masks defending them from the road dust. We also followed their example.
face masks

Since this was Sunday, on the way, we encountered many markets and wedding celebrations.
Vietnamise wedding celebrations

Vietnamese wedding celebrations

First we entered a village which was marked as a point for sightseeing on the map, but we did not find anything interesting, and drove further.

Elephant hunters’ village.

Then we saw the sign of the elephant hunters’ village, followed it and found the abandoned graveyard. Many graves were decorated with the elephant tusks, and we immediately decided that this is the famous graveyard of the elephant hunters and started to take pictures of it.
elephant hunters’ village

By the way, this pipe in the grave is used to pour rice to the deceased. This is done regularly for about three years after his or her death, and then the grave is abandoned.
elephant hunters’ grave

Judging by the tusks, we decided that this is the graveyard of the animal hunters, but there was one inconsistency: we could not find the grave of legendary Ama Kong, the best hunter ever, who tamed the albino elephant for the king of Thailand. This was the most decorated grave and the graveyard, but the name was different:

We turned back to the road and soon found the information center. Next to it there was the graveyard we were searching for and the grave of Ama Kong, immediately standing out.
Ama Kong grave

The information center is situated at the entrance to Buon Don village. This village now serves almost exclusively for the tourists: it has a lot of souvenir shops and a small park to walk at (the ticket is 30000 dongs).
Buon Don village



The village is also famous for selling the Vietnamese variety of viagra.
Vietnamese viagra

Elephant ride.

Yet, the tourists’ main aim is the elephant ride.
elephant ride

Similarly to other tourists, we paid 300000 dongs to make an elephant walk on the river.
elephant ride


To be honest, this was our first and last ride. There is nothing special in it, we only felt pity for the poor elephant. Once again, we looked at the grave of the famous elephant hunter, drove back to Buon Ma Thuot and returned our bike.

In Buon Ma Thout,

in the cafe called…
Buon Ma Thout

… we had an excellent dinner – grilled meat and our favourite Vietnamese spring rolls. As we have already written, you may easily find great and cheap dinner almost in every cafe of Buon Ma Thuot.


As a bonus, we saw the albino lizard in the cafe.

The great evening was darkened by the motorbike accident at the nearby crossroads: we only saw a scooter which was riding extremely fast and heard the clash sound. Everybody from the cafe ran outside and they were apparently shocked by the picture which opened to them. We preferred not to look. Only on the way back home we saw two bikes lying at the crossroads. In two years, in Thailand, we would get to the bike accident too, luckily, it ended not so badly.
On the next day we left Dak Lak to explore the next region of Vietnam – the province of Lam Dong and its capital Da Lat.
Lam Dong

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